Yesterday was the first day of the Alt Photo Festival in Edinburgh. I attended the opening night and met some fantastic and inspiring people, including the amazing artist Alastair Cook and the equally brilliant Kenny Bean, the man behind the festival. It was a pleasure to finally meet them both and I was not only inspired by their work and what they had to say, but also totally enamoured by their humble, kind and generous nature. The whole festival just has a really positive and wonderful vibe about it – I was buzzing with enthusiasm when I returned home.
I’m honoured to have been given the opportunity to exhibit a few of my photographs along with two photographer friends of mine; Iain Kendall and Simon Kidd, as part of the festival. Our photos are being exhibited at Tidalfire – 42 St Mary’s Street, Edinburgh (9-4pm Mon-Fri). Please do pop in for a look if you get the chance!
Here are the pictures I’ve chosen to exhibit:
The Alt Photo Festival is a celebration and promotion of all kinds of alternative methods of making photographs. Shooting film is now falling into that category, but I made sure to include a picture of Hume Castle made with paper (Harman Direct Positive Paper) and a picture of Sutra Hill made with Fuji FP-100C instant film.
The festival is definitely well worth a visit and in addition to viewing the wonderful artwork – including the amazing wet plate collodion work by Alastair Cook – I encourage you to go to participate in the fantastic free workshops they have running. Last night I created my first ever Photogram – a picture made without a camera on photo paper. I was guided through the process by a really lovely tutor; she carefully explained everything and was warm, friendly and encouraging. You can tell that she was genuinely enjoying what she was doing. The workshops are perfect for all ages, but in particular for kids (aged 8 and over) – they are sure to come away inspired and excited about alternative photographic techniques!
Here is my attempt at a photogram using some lovely material picked from the Royal Botanic Gardens:
(please excuse the dust spots from the scanner – I scanned it very quickly!)
After putting various leaves and flowers onto a piece of glass we were led into a huge temporary darkroom with a row of enlargers and developing trays. After sandwiching the plant material with a 7×5 sheet of Ilford RC paper (Ilford are proud sponsors of the festival), I exposed it to light from the enlarger for 4 seconds. The paper was removed and dunked into the developer, stop, fix and then water. So simple and hugely rewarding! I really can’t wait to start my own darkroom printing now!